Unless you’ve managed to get through life unscathed so far, you know the key word here is when, not if. In fact, in the game of life, we can expect to get hit with a few curveballs — I certainly have — some are just faster or harder than others. So the question is: what are you going to do and how are you going to react when life takes an unexpected turn? Rather than accepting defeat, I invite you to step up to the plate and accept the challenge. Here are my 10 tips on how you can hit that curveball out of the park!

Think Like a Mouse — Ever watch a mouse make its way through a maze to find the cheese? The little critter has one goal in mind — to get it’s tiny little paws on the delicious dairy treat, no matter what. When it hits a wall, it doesn’t turn around and go home. It doesn’t flop on the floor and cry, it doesn’t look up to the sky and ask WHY? Nope, the little guy keeps poking around until his determination and hard work lead him to the promised prize. So think like a mouse and STAY IN MOTION! Don’t let a setback set you too far back. Trust your instincts, keep pushing forward, and use the momentum to help you find your way. It’s so much easier than to fall back and start from zero.

Remember Your Purpose — You set out on a particular path with a purpose. Whether you have a specific goal you are trying to reach, or a responsibility that you have to fulfill, chances are you’re driven by a purpose. Staying focused on the “why” will help keep you focused and motivated to forge ahead. Remember there is more than one path to success and a detour can still lead you to your destination.

Share Your Struggles — I know what you’re thinking, “I have enough to deal with why in the world would I want to highlight that I’ve been pegged by a curveball?” The answer is simple. By sharing and being open about struggles or setbacks, we open ourselves up to suggestions from others, which can only be of benefit. Seek advice from trusted experts, colleagues, mentors or close friends and family members, who truly care about your success. Go online and research others who may have experienced similar experiences as yours and it might just help you to find a better path or solution.

Reflect, Reassess, Revise — When the unexpected happens in any situation in life, it’s best to avoid a knee-jerk reaction. The more beneficial response will come with a rational, clear head. Stop, take a breath, and reflect on the situation. Was it in or out of your control? If it was within your control, reassess your plan and revise to include the necessary adjustments to help you be better prepared to get across the finish line or handle the next curveball.

Stay Positive! — Multiple studies have proven that pessimism can negatively affect your health. The Mayo Clinic sites that, “The positive thinking that usually comes with optimism is a key part of effective stress management.” No doubt, stress and chaos go hand in hand so if you want to keep a bad situation from getting worse, stay positive. It will not only make it a better overall experience, but it will also help you stay open to identifying opportunities for growth and improvement.

Ask Productive Questions — Let me be clear, “Why did this happen to me?” isn’t one of them. But since you’ll ask, the simple answer to that is, “Stuff happens.” Instead focus on questions that will produce results, such as:

  • What can I do to recover from this setback?
  • What did I learn from this experience?
  • What can I do in the future to avoid a reoccurrence?

Take Responsibility — While it’s always easier on our egos to blame external sources for our pitfalls in life, it doesn’t solve anything. Redirecting responsibility is counterproductive to problem solving and relinquishes our control of the situation. The last thing you want to do is lose control! Instead, take a good honest look at the situation and regroup. Accept responsibility where you can, don’t get fixated on things out of your control, keep your head in the game and move forward.

Don’t Take it Personally — It’s so easy to take offense to situations that don’t go our way. Try to remember that sometimes a no is just a no, we can’t always win and sometimes good things come to an end. Rather than wallowing in rejection or taking offense, try the following:

  • Turn a “NO” into the “Next Opportunity”
  • Consider a FAIL, a “First Attempt in Learning”
  • When you think it’s the END, remember that “Effort Never Dies”

Know When to Let it Go — This can be difficult, usually due to pride. Nobody wants to admit defeat. However, you must pick your battles in life. Some things are worth fighting for and others, not so much. Decide if it is your ego keeping your boxing gloves on or your belief in what you are fighting for. Then decide if it’s really worth the energy and effort that could be redirected toward a more effective and worthy solution or purpose.

Despite your best efforts in your personal or professional life, you must always expect the unexpected. No matter what life throws your way, it’s up to you take your best shot.

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, and how you can still come out of it.’ — Maya Angelou

What strategy have you used to deal with life’s curveballs? I’d love to see what has worked for you by sharing in the comments below.

Craig Nabat, the CEO of iRestore and Freedom Laser Therapy, is a “relentless” entrepreneur and inventor who has spent his life taking his ideas from concept to reality. From inventing laser therapy to help people quit smoking to leveraging the iRestore, an FDA-cleared laser hair loss medical device, so people can protect and regrow their hair, Craig has been driven by powerful desire to pursue his dreams and help others at the same time. To learn more, visit irestorelaser.com or follow on Facebook at iRestore Hair Growth System or Twitter at @irestorelaser.

Originally published at medium.com